Monday, December 31, 2012

well hi there - happy new year 2013


well hi there, originally uploaded by Blackberry Artists.

A big hurrah for the new year and all best wishes for 2013 from the artists of the Blackberry Artist's Society.
Our thanks to you for supporting our work and visiting the gift shop, the only artist-run cooperative society shop in the Tri Cities.
Looking forward to seeing you again in 2013 :)

The shop will be open once more on January 3rd. We are also open for the gallery opening on Thursday, January 10th - 6pm to 8pm.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

maybe we'll have some of the white stuff outside?
Merry Christmas, from us to you.
All good wishes for a peaceful New Year.
And thank you for your support this year.

Please note, the giftshop will be closed until the Arts Centre opens after the seasonal closure, and the blog will be taking a break until early January. Thank you for reading. Happy Christmas :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

On the twelfth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
painting by Valerie Simons

Here at last!


On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A grove of twelve (or possibly more) slender birch trees 
(we only have a deck, so where I will put these I have no idea),

Eleven speedy motor cars,
Ten by ten by tens of stunning and artistically crackled grout,
Nine lonesome wilderness beasts (I dare you not to take one home with you),
Eight bearded jolly men,
Seven flights of fairy stairs (we're planning a home extension to accommodate them),
Six felted fibre tree brooches (perfectly at home with the birch grove),
Five crazy ceramic frogs! (the joint is jumping, I tell ya!)
Four swinging metal leaves (my lobes are beautifully adorned),
Three marauding (gently, of course) polar bears,
Two sun-drenched deck chairs (hello Hawaii),
and a glowing lamp by my fireplace (so cosy this Christmas)!


All best wishes for Christmas.
I hope your true love has been as thoughtful and generous as mine - if not, then the gift shop is open on December 22nd so print this list out as a hint and send him/her packing :)

See all twelve days together here.

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the eleventh day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
colourful wooden racing cars by Del Holbrook

On the eleventh day of Christmas ...

My True Love came home this evening, chuckling like a little kid.
"We're going to set up a race track, in the house," he shouted as he came into the hallway.
Oh dear, I thought. He really has gone off his rocker now.
But no - all was revealed as he emptied the contents of his bag out onto the floor. Eleven delightful and sturdy wooden race cars tumbled out, spinning off madly in all directions. The beasts and I scampered around on the wooden floor rounding up vehicles and zooming them back at one another.
Another happy evening :)

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

On the tenth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
detail from mixed media panel by Karen Bagayawa

On the tenth day of Christmas ...

Oh my! My True Love came home last night bringing the biggest wrapped present I have ever seen him carry up the front steps. I swear it was a ten-by-ten but he says it measures less. He does admit though, that there are probably ten by ten by tens of gorgeous deep red plaster fragments embedded within the linen mesh.
I can't stop gazing at it - the beasts and I curled up on the rug, gazing up at our new treasure all evening. It makes a beautiful and dramatic statement - a perfect piece for the empty wall above the fireplace.

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Monday, December 17, 2012

On the ninth day of Christmas ...

12 days of Christmas
original drawings by Sarah Ronald

On the ninth day of Christmas ...

My True Love had to stay away last night too, so he left me with this menagerie of wilderness beasts to pass the evening with. Once I had finished feeding, watering and tucking them all in for the night it was time to start serving breakfast.
Still, they kept me quite warm curled up round my toes, though I'm not sure when I'll get my bath back, and I don't know what the raccoon did with the trash ...

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On the eighth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
driftwood sculpture magnets by Pat de Couto

On the eighth day of Christmas ...

This morning I blearily wandered into the kitchen in search of my morning coffee and found my every move scrutinised by this jolly crew on my fridge. My True Love is away today so he thought these gentlemen would keep me company. How sweet!

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On the seventh day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
cottonwood carving by George Blackstock

On the seventh day of Christmas ...

One the seventh day of Christmas, my True Love has well and truly perplexed me.
Today's unwrapping revealed a tiny and beautifully carved abode for fairies or elves, arranged over eight floors and featuring seven flights of tiny stairs internally.
Is he trying to warn me that the patter of tiny feet will soon be heard ... ?

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meet your makers: Sunday artist - Amanda Maxwell

Christmas 2012

This Sunday, it's the turn of Yours Truly to take the artist's chair in the gallery for the Sunday artists series.
I'll be sitting at the table from 1pm to 3pm so please visit the gallery and have a chat.
As well as being a mixed media wearable art jewelry artist who works mainly in wire crochet, feltable fibres, textiles, and some traditional metalsmithing (what a mouthful), I also write the blog and maintain the Blackberry Artist's Society social media network.

christmas 2012
Yes - that's me tweeting away at @BlackberryArts, and penning the blog posts here. This year, a whole 12 months of Blackberry blog posts are available for you to read while in the Marketplace.
So, if you have any burning social media or blogging questions, I'm happy to answer them as well as demonstrate a few wire crochet techniques - you might even see me stab myself with an ultra-sharp felting needle (I promise not to cry).

artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Christmas Marketplace 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
mixed media "home is where the heart is" brooches by Amanda Maxwell

On the sixth day of Christmas ...

Oh Christmas - sometimes you make me cry, especially when I hear Sarah McLachlan singing "I'll be home for Christmas".
My sweet True Love bought me these six tree brooches to remind me of my beloved homeland and how much of a home I've made for us here. Each tree is rooted around scottish sea glass, except for the final one in the series,"i shall live here" which clasps a tiny chunk of Sunshine Coast glass.
Will I wear them, or leave them displayed on their tiny canvases?

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
ceramic frogs by Pauline Doyle

On the fifth day of Christmas ...

The place is jumping! Last night's arrival were these jolly creatures. They're a lively bunch; each time I turn around they've hopped off to a new launch pad.
Christmas won't be dull this year but I'd better cover the trifle!

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Monday, December 10, 2012

On the fourth day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
sterling silver leaf earrings by Urszula Petrykowska

On the fourth day of Christmas ...

Today's package was on the small side. My True Love carried it back home in his pocket (the giftshop is open till 6pm weeknights), muttering something about being drawn like a moth to a flame by the bright lights from the gallery windows.
But oh what riches inside such a neatly wrapped gift, in its own beautifully sewn gift bag too (from Christmas Marketplace too) -
four shiny metal leaves 
(which together make two pairs of  unique and stunning earrings)

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.
ooops! the link has been updated so it will take you to the 12 days now!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On the third day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
carved polar bears by Tom Reid
On the third day of Christmas ...

So ... I love the thought of being on a beach somewhere hot and sunny, but maybe I should really be thinking festive and seasonal (and Canada). I mention this to the True Love, and he gets this crazed look in his eye. Next minute, I hear the front door slamming and the sound of feet clattering down the path.

Now what?
Again, an hour later he returns with a carefully wrapped bundle - lo and behold,

Three perfect polar bears!
I feel so wintry

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

On the second day of Christmas ...

the twelve days of christmas
painting by Vicki Allesia

On the second day of Christmas ...

... my True Love, tired of my incessant complaints about the greyness, rain and cold, escaped the house this morning (round about 10am, gift shop opening time) then returned about an hour later with a flatpack under his arm.
Oh joy! I thought to myself - self-assembly furniture!
But no - two sunny deckchairs.

The painting is now up on my wall, and I'm sitting in front of it, sipping tea (out of a cup decorated with a cocktail umbrella), with my feet up and covered in self-tan lotion.

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)


Click here to see all twelve days of Christmas as they publish.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meet Your Makers: Sunday artist - Cathy Rycroft



This Sunday's maker to meet is artist and race horse trainer (oh yes!) Cathy Rycroft. Visitors to the giftshop instantly recognise her work showing horses at full gallop and other BC wildlife on a variety of unusual media such as polished stone and tree slabs. Cathy captures every hair and each tiny detail in her stunning portraits of animal life. From the single whisker to the glint in the grizzly's eye, you'd swear it was just waiting to pounce (we haven't lost a visitor yet, so you are quite safe).
Why not pay a visit to the Arts Centre this Sunday and find out what inspires Cathy's work and what nourishes her creative soul.

artist-made gifts nourish the soul


Artist demos every Sunday, 1-3pm, until December 16th.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the first day of Christmas ...


stained glass lamp and window snowflake by Margret Billings

On the first day of Christmas ....
(yes, dear reader - I'm still with the same besotted fool who does all his over-gifting from the Blackberry Christmas Marketplace)
my true love gave to me 
(did I tell you how much I loved all the unique gifts I got last year?
i love love love love love them all)
a lovely glowing lamp for the sitting room.

Stay tuned - artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas critter adoption post


christmas 2012, originally uploaded by Blackberry Artists.

This beautiful swan needs a home for the holidays ... and beyond. No pond required. Happy to sit looking decorative on a mantelpiece.
Enquire within.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fully loaded tree


christmas 2012, originally uploaded by Blackberry Artists.

All you need for a fully loaded tree this season. Our artists have been hard at work miniaturising their skills into bite-sized packages of festive goodness. Drop by the Arts Centre today to pick up some beautiful ornaments for your tree, and maybe something larger for underneath it?
We're open from noon to 4pm, with our artist demo taking place from 1pm till 3pm.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Meet Your Makers: Sunday artist demos - Del Holbrook



This Sunday's artist demo is by Del Hobrook, also known as the Chief Toymaking Elf in the cooperative. Del's amazing wooden toys are a firm favourite in the Christmas Marketplace and this year is no different. Kids visiting the Arts Centre make a beeline to the beautifully crafted and sturdy logging trucks, wooden boats, stacking burger games and more. Parents sigh with relief, knowing that these professionally crafted toys are safe for little hands and will keep a child entertained long enough for mum or dad to check out the other gifts.
Why not come down to the Arts Centre for Meet Your Makers Sunday (1-3pm) and say Hi to Del. Ask him what inspires his creative work and what nourishes his artistic soul.

artist-made gifts nourish the soul



Although we don't suggest leaving your precious bundles unmonitored, why not visit the toys section first and let your little visitor test drive a special stocking stuffer. Toys which mysteriously vanish in the night are usually forgotten about until unwrapped on The Day.

Monday, November 26, 2012

When at the library/CityHall/Inlet Theatre ...







Visiting the municipal heart of Port Moody?
Kicking your heels, passing time until That Book is checked out from the library shelves, or That Parking Notice (oops!) has been dealt with?
Why not cheer up your day by taking a wander up the stairs opposite the reception desk and stop at the mezzanine display case to check out what the Blackberry Artists have been up to?
As the festive season draws closer, we'll be showcasing our members' work to tempt you into the Christmas Marketplace open at the Arts Centre on St. John's Street until December 22nd.

As usual, all work on display is for sale - phone 604-931-2008 ext. 102 to arrange purchase.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Meet your makers: Sunday Artist - Sarah Ronald


Tomorrow's artist demo is by Sarah Ronald, a talented painter and visual artist who also runs marketing and promotions for our artist cooperative (thank you Sarah!).
Visitors to the gift shop probably recognise her work in the form of the beautiful photographic pieces she sells here, ranging from business card cases through mousemats to adorable compact mirror sets. These all feature her own photography and are professionally printed by the artist onto high quality and durable materials.
For this Christmas, customers are also treated to Sarah's other talent - drawing and painting. She has a stunning series of original drawings, framed for perfect gift-giving. 
Why not visit her in the gallery Sunday, 1 to 3pm, and ask what inspires her art and nourishes her creative soul.

artist-made gifts nourish the soul

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Meet the artist - Sunday series of artist demos

Tom Reid and Pauline Doyle getting on with their art
This year why not Meet Your Makers at the Christmas Marketplace?
Each Sunday, starting this weekend, Blackberry Artists will be demonstrating their work in the gallery between 1 and 3pm. They will explain how they make their pieces, what inspires them and answer any questions you have.
Find out how artist-made gifts nourish their souls as well as yours.
Our first artist was George Blackstock, who carves whimsical fairy dwellings out of cottonwood. His work featured in our St. Patrick's Day promotions here on the blog and has been popular with customers since its arrival in the shop.

Next artist: Sarah Ronald - photography, visual art
Share the love - hop on over to our Facebook page to spread the word around the community.

artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: the festive editions

handwoven scarf by Beryl Hickinbottom

Monday, November 19, 2012

PSA - a promotional service announcement



Christmas Marketplace 2012 has opened and the gifts are flying off the shelves.
Please do your friends a favour and let them know where to find the best artist-made goodies in the Tri Cities. Either point them towards our website or suggest they subscribe to our blog for regular updates. Or they can join us on Facebook - our Events page will keep them primed. We are also on twitter - join the #portmoody conversation with us.
Share the love; there's enough to go around (but get down here quick!) - artist-made gifts nourish the soul :)

.... and for a taster, try out this video from last year's Shaw Express visit to the arts centre (tune in at 4 mins).

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oooops! Forgotten something perhaps?

ceramic frog by Pauline Doyle

Our Christmas Marketplace opened last night - the gift shop is now open seven days a week until December 22nd, from 10am until 6pm (Sundays 12 noon to 4pm) for all your gift-buying needs. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: the eyes have it!

paper masks by Joan Marr

... and they are the only ones who know what's going on in the gift shop right now? Will you be there at the unwrapping of Christmas Marketplace tomorrow night?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

marketplace_prep


marketplace_prep, originally uploaded by Blackberry Artists.

The Christmas Marketplace is almost ready. Helpful festive elves have been scurrying around the gallery in the Port Moody Arts Centre all day, moving plinths into place (owwch my back!) and pinning the tree in place.

Oh horrors! everything is now under wraps until November 15th when the gallery and gift shop will be unwrapped by one special and intrepid Arts Centre member at 5pm. Arts Centre members get first dibs on the christmas offerings on show in a special shopping event before the main opening at 6pm.

But shhh! don't tell.Here's a sneak peek at what's under the wrapping (more in our Flickr gallery ... can you see your heart's desire?

Artist-made gifts nourish the soul

You are invited ...

Evite NovDec2012 Rack Card

... Port Moody Arts Centre gallery opening night, including the opening of our Christmas Marketplace, 6-8pm on Thursday, November 15th.
If you are a member of the Arts Centre then please consider yourself invited to an exclusive shopping event, the Grand Reveal of our Christmas Marketplace, taking place from 5pm on the 15th - you have first choice of gifts in the marketplace.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lest We Forget

photograph: Sarah Ronald

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Christmas Marketplace opens November 15th

Our annual Christmas Marketplace opens in less than two weeks. From November 15th to just before Christmas, the Blackberry Artist's Society showcases all the gorgeous gifts we think would be just right to stuff in stockings all over the Tri Cities (and further afield too).

For a teaser of what's on offer check out this slide show from last year :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Be Prepared

hand-painted silk scarf by Jane Ostenstad

origami gift stars by Yolanda Cheung; ceramic buttons by Dan Severance; photo pendant by Sarah Ronald
Not just the motto of the Boy Scouts - the cry of every well-organised Christmas planner everywhere (yes, they do exist).
If you're looking for neat gifts which tuck easily into cards for mailing overseas then check out our shelves and hanging racks. We have beautiful art cards, funky dog tag pendants, intricate origami gift pockets and even ceramic buttons for the distant crafter in your thoughts. A carefully folded silk scarf won't add much to envelope weight either, but it will bring an extra-large smile to whoever opens it.
See you soon (Christmas is coming - sooner than you think!)